Skip to main content

View Diary: Where Were You on 11/22/63? (77 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I was walking home from school (8+ / 0-)

    I was in the third grade in 1963, and I found out about Kennedy being shot from some older girls walking home on the sidewalk in front of me, one of them said "KENNEDY HAS BEEN SHOT!", and I was concerned as much as a 8 year old could be.

    Once I arrived on my block, a bunch of the neighbor ladies were gathered on the front porch of my aunt (this was 1963, most of them were stay at home housewives).  My Mom was there with the other ladies.  I ran up to my Mom screaming- "Mommy is it true that Kennedy has been shot"?,  she seemed a little upset someone had already told me, but then she said "yes honey, its true."

    Why they didnt tell me in school, I dont know, maybe they thought 8 year olds were too young to be told without their parents present.  I do remember sometime in the afternoon, my teacher being called to the "office".  When she came back, she seemed close to tears.  She looked right at me, like maybe she needed someone's shoulder to cry on.  (She and I were very close, she knew I was Catholic so maybe she thought I would be especially saddened by the news).  But I think she was ordered not to tell us, so the poor lady was left to deal with the grief on  her own.

    The neighbor ladies were taking turns alternately crying, my cousin was there, and he , being the little man, kept saying, "Im not going to cry."   I seconded that.  But eventually, I started crying, my Mom and the other ladies comforted me.  

    My Mom took me home, we only lived 2 houses down from my aunt on the same street.    My Mom had the tv on, with the somber voice of some anchorman.  My Dad got home from work.  Being a union tool and die maker, and Catholic to boot, and a staunch Democrat, his first words to my Mom were in his straight-up blue collar way-  "ISNT THIS A BITCH!"  and my Mom agreed.

    The next few days were days forever ingrained in my memory of my classmates various ways of dealing with the news.  One group of my neighbors kids took to parading back and forth down the street with an American flag. (perhaps imitating what they saw on tv).

    It was another time,  a bittersweet, more innocent time.  Thinking of that day brings back memories of my dear parents, both of whom have passed away. God rest their souls, and the soul of that dear man, John Kennedy!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site